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Stacy Levy: Understanding Nature

by Kathy Bruce

Stacy Levy transforms the invisible aspects of nature into visually seductive forms by acquainting us with the underlying structures of the natural world. Following in the footsteps of 1960s Land artists, she brings a fresh approach to her art-making, guided by her dual background in forestry and sculpture. Levy comments on nature in a way that is not just about gesture, information, ecology, or the landscape. At its best, her work redefines the categories of science, landscape art, and sculpture.


While in art school, Levy was intrigued by the structure of seedpods and sculpted dozens of variations on them in varying sizes and materials. As a result of this early work and her experience in forestry at Yale, she gradually came to realize that she was more interested in the natural progression of life than in static objects. But she found that the field of sculpture allowed her to deviate from the ecological constraints of forestry. The daily progression of seasons influenced her desire to make art about the processes of nature rather than in imitation of it. As a result, her practice of depicting natural processes through her work has been informed by her training in sculpture, environmental science, and landscape architecture.

Acid Mine Drainage & Art, Project for Vintondale, 1995–2005. Two views of collaboration with Julie Bargmann, T. Allan Comp, Bob Deason, and community volunteers, 40-acre excavated site in Vintondale, Pennsylvania. Courtesy the artist.

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